Double Fine looking to move from work-for-hire to completely crowdfunded games

Double Fine looks beyond traditional game funding to maintain the studio's independence.

Double Fine, the studio behind Psychonauts and upcoming adventure platformer The Cave, is making the move towards consumer-focused and free-to-play projects, according to an interview with VentureBeat.

Recently the company raised nearly $3.5 million via Kickstarter – leagues above their initial goal of $400,000 – for their next project, Double Fine Adventure. The project broke the record as the most funded Kickstarter in history.

"We try to be as creative with our business development as we are with our games," founder Tim Schafer told VentureBeat. "We are always on the lookout for ways to break the traditional mold for game funding. So when we see new opportunities come up - like Kickstarter, angel investment, or other alternative funding models - even though they might seem new and risky at the time, they are also very attractive to us."

Last year angel investor Steve Dengler, founder of online currency converter Xe.com, donated $1 million towards the Mac port of Psychonauts and PC ports of Stacking and Costume Quest.

"I'm a fan with money," Dengler told VentureBeat. "I've been a fan of Double Fine for years, and now I get to help them make new games on their own terms. Traditionally, a developer needed a publisher to get their work made and out to the fans. And traditionally, that relationship was pretty one-sided. But together, we are changing that."

Double Fine vice president of business Justin Bailey hopes that by next year the company will have made the full transition to crowdfunding from work-for-hire with traditional developers.

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